What the Future of Television Means To Cronin and Co. / by Dan Weingrod

I had a request to look at how some of the ideas discussed in last week’s presentation could impact us more specifically. Using Razorfish’s nine implications as a starting point here are some of my thoughts:


1.       It will be important to be liked

·         As the potential grows for everyone and everything to become a channel, social currency will become more important. This will mean that we will need to link our television efforts with social media and perhaps search so that viewers become more receptive and motivated to view, rate and pass along our presentation.

2.       :30 is a random number

·         We should start challenging our clients to look at options of creating long form spots at the same time that we are creating standard length spots and shorter pre-roll spots. Perhaps we should begin with an “ultimate” length and then re-create :30, :15 etc. For an example you can see Nike’s World Cup ambush spot: NIKE FOOTBALL WRITE THE FUTURE (3:04, 12.8 M views), and one of its :30 sec versions.

3.       We will know who we’re talking to

·         Most Cable providers are already offering this capability on a zip code level. A demo from Cablevision showed us how this could be combined with interactive TV to provide longer form video/infomercials as well as online ordering. From a media standpoint we start moving away from Mass Media terminologies and campaigns to more direct campaigns, which will mean that response and analytics become much more critical. From a creative and production standpoint see point #2 above and also consider that we will need to get much more flexible with our video standards.

4.       People will be Channels

·         I hope it won’t be Ashton Kutcher, but if you want an example of this take a look at http://tv.winelibrary.com. This is Gary Vaynerchuk’s TV channel that he has used to become a Social Media personality, and sell an awful lot of wine. When people become channels, what happens to advertising agencies? This is one scary implication. The other is that we may find ourselves creating and sponsoring these individuals instead of producing the “content”.

5.       Creativity will be portable

·         The iPhone 4G will be announced today. Among the rumors that abound is front facing video, which means video chat, (if you can get a data plan for it). Either way standardization of video devices will disappear and we may find ourselves, like Web designers, designing for the small screen FIRST, before we think about how it looks on the big screen.

6.       We will not control the conversation

·         This is probably the hardest thing for us to comprehend. We have all grown up in a broadcast world with the idea that we control the discussion by putting brilliant, emotional and eyecatching creative in front of our audience. We will have think about the fact that we will need to earn our way into the conversation, because we may  no longer the most important voice in the room. This means that the television we produce will need to be part of an overall environment that encourages dialogue and action.

7.       Our Creativity must exist in real time

·         This is not good news to anyone who wants things to slow down. Campaigns will now exist on a full time basis and we will need to react regularly to changes in response, audience and even events and weather. We are already doing this in Search and Online Media, but it will become more intense. On the creative and production side we will have to think about creating multiple spots for multiple audiences or potential audiences that will be flexible enough to change if needed.

8.       People will skip ads. We’ll earn the right to be in the content

·         If no-one is watching ads we will have to think more about sponsorships, product placement, in-content interactivity or sponsoring social events around a television event

9.       TV and web will blend Brands in ways we can’t today

·         Mix highly accessible technology, audio and video storytelling, direct response and social media together and what do you get? A whole new brand experience. I don’t know specifically what this will bring, but Brands are going to need to live in a wide ecosystem of communication and provide real value. Being everywhere on TV will not be enough, we’ll also need to be relevant wherever we are.